Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Death Vans

(Maybe "Deathmobile" is catchier?)

Apparently in China there are roving vans, providing the nation with its much-needed criminal executions. Some morbid speculations, and some quotes from the article I found this in, below.

Some quotes:

Makers of the death vans say the vehicles and injections are a civilized alternative to the firing squad, ending the life of the condemned more quickly, clinically and safely. The switch from gunshots to injections is a sign that China "promotes human rights now," says Kang Zhongwen, who designed the Jinguan Automobile death van in which "Devil" Zhang took his final ride.

China's refusal to give outsiders access to the bodies of executed prisoners has added to suspicions about what happens afterward: Corpses are typically driven to a crematorium and burned before relatives or independent witnesses can view them.

I suspect there IS use of prisoners' organs, because I've Heard Stories, Man (from a friend who studied under an American doctor who was roped into doing a heart transplant from a still-living (anesthetized) condemned criminal), but in China's defense... even if you were entirely legitimate, there's plenty of reason not to bother allowing "access."

Some random dude from another country is like, "Excuse me, foreign busybody here, I need to inspect the corpses of every person you shoot. You know, because you're probably doing something bad with the bodies." Would you go to the trouble to appease them, or would you tell them to fuck off and just get on with the cremation or whatever?

Jinguan's glossy death van brochure is printed in both Chinese and English.

I want to see this brochure. I want to see this brochure SO BAD. Someone find me this brochure!

The lethal cocktail used in the injections is mixed only in Beijing, something that has prompted complaints from local courts.

"Some places can't afford the cost of sending a person to Beijing — perhaps $250 — plus $125 more for the drug," says Qiu Xingsheng, a former judge working as a lawyer in Chongqing. Death-by-gunshot requires "very little expense," he says.

Qiu has attended executions by firing squad where the kneeling prisoner is shot in the back of the head. The guards "ask the prisoner to open his mouth, so the bullet can pass out of the mouth and leave the face intact," he says.

Is this for the sake of the relatives?

Also, I'm not so knowledgeable about either ballistics or the human skull, but... is it hard to aim a bullet from the back of someone's head so that it goes out their mouth? Well, maybe if you don't mind chipping a tooth or clipping a lip or something, it might not be so hard.

Tycoon Yuan Baojing was executed in March in a death van, in northeast China's Liaoyang city. He had been convicted of arranging the murder of a man trying to blackmail him for attempting to assassinate a business partner.

So he hires an assassin, that fails, someone BLACKMAILS him about the failed assassination, and his solution is to hire someone to assassinate THEM? What if that failed, and he got double-blackmailed, etc.? "Oh shit, now I *really* have to kill them off, I'd be up to 68 attempted murder charges if this ever got out!"

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